Bo Gibson killed the biggest deer of his life on the cool, rainy Saturday afternoon of Nov. 4 in Rockingham County, N.C. after sitting in his stand for about five hours. But the hunt for this big deer started much earlier than that day.

Gibson first noticed the buck was in his area during bow season when his Wildgame Innovations Camera captured a photo of the deer. Patience was the key to Gibson killing this buck. A nice 6-pointer showed up earlier in the hunt. And while many hunters would have pulled the trigger on that deer, especially during less than ideal weather, Gibson had the brute on his mind. So he waited.

The wait paid off.

“Eventually, out walked the buck my boys and I had been hunting since early bow season. I quickly picked up my Thompson Center Encore muzzleloader and shot the biggest deer of my life,” said Gibson.

The deer ran out of Gibson’s sight, but he had no doubt he’d made a clean shot. After about 15 minutes, he climbed down from his stand and began looking for the buck. He found it pretty quickly about 50 yards away, and instead of the “ground shrinkage” that many hunters experience after shooting a big buck and then seeing it up close for the first time, Gibson experienced the opposite. This buck was even bigger than the trail camera photos — or his view from the stand — led him to believe.

Gibson radioed his sons, and they brought a friend along to help load the buck onto Gibson’s ATV. Soon after, he hauled it to Wayne Shuler Taxidermy in Thomasville. Shuler green scored the buck, which sported a 25 1/4-inch inside spread, at 157 inches. 

Gibson expects to have his mount back in time to show it at the 2018 Dixie Deer Classic in March.